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Blog post AM22

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“Throwback to August when the Swedish delegation was at the General Assembly in Turkey:

August Meeting 2022, what a trip!

Now the bags are unpacked and the washing machines are running. You feel right at home feeling tired and worn out but very, very happy to have participated. At the same time, it is very difficult to explain what it is you have been through. When we are now sitting and going writing a few lines, it's hard to know where to even begin.

Perhaps it is best to try to clear up what "General Assembly" or "August Meeting” means the words may not say much. In a hurry, we can try explain it in two different ways:

The first thing is to say that IFMSA as an association has a council there the member associations together can discuss and make decisions about the association's future. It is called the General Assembly (GA), and meets twice a year, once in March (March Meeting eller “MM”), and once during August (August Meeting, “AM”). General council meetings are held during the meetings (“plenaries”) where you take off candidacies for the international board, bylaw amendments, policy documents and other useful. But it is also a forum for capacity building, where members can hang out and develop their understanding of the association and the subjects they are committed to. Mer about that later.

Another way is to describe it as half-crazy experiment: “what if you invites a thousand engaged medical students from a hundred countries to a hotel in one week?”. As you can imagine, the result is intense — both in terms of work and socially. In a way, it's a miracle that it all comes together. Nevertheless, we have just from IFMSAs 71:a AM, and would both warmly recommend it to anyone interested IFMSA active!

AM 22 was the first General Assembly meeting any of us had attended. Extra fantastic is that it is also the first physical August meeting after corona-the period's digital events and hybrid solutions! It has been an intense week with busy schedule and great exchange of knowledge in a very inclusive environment.

The program and activities can broadly be divided into a couple of categories: where there are joint activities, and activities that are specific to the session/workgroup you have been assigned. Usually the days consist of lectures, workshops and seminars in various forms. As a delegate at GA, you can either participate in the sessions of any working group- it can thus be everything from exchange activities to sexual and reproductive health, with public health and human rights and peace in between. In addition to the usual working groups, there are also "president's sessions" where representatives of the national organizations go. There are also "NMO Management Sessions" which touch on themes relevant to capacity building and the administrative aspect of running a national organization.

The schedule during the week was packed from morning until well into the evening. When plenum ended the social program began. It included everything from yoga session, game night, song and dance. The most impressive event was perhaps the NFDP (National Food and Drink Party), a social event where every NMO (national membership organization) offered typical dishes and drinks from their country. There was also dancing, which was really fun!

We strongly encourage everyone to apply to the General Assembly, regardless of earlier experience or not. Because it is precisely through these meetings that you are reminded of how IFMSA has many thousands of members worldwide, who are all passionate about different things things that concern our future.”